The unnamed European group thought to be interested in investing in disaster-struck Full Tilt Poker could well have a deal “on the table by the end of next week”, according to reports from lawyers working for the poker site.
Full Tilt are, of course, one of three poker sites – along with Absolute Poker and PokerStars – that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) closed down on April 15 after the site’s founders were indicted on charges of bank fraud, money laundering and the violation of gambling laws.
‘Black Friday’ saw the immediate halting of Full Tilt’s American operations, but any deal struck with the Europeans should hopefully free up about $150 million of US players’ money and allow for some sort of settlement with the DoJ.
Full Tilt’s solicitors are also hopeful the proposed deal will result in the withdrawal of the lawsuit brought against the poker website late last month.
One lawyer spoke of his “hope” that the deal with European investors will “include paying back the players”, which should result in the ending of “the class action suit” as well as all similar suits that have emerged in its wake.
Full Tilt were still operating outside of the USA for many weeks following the DoJ decision, but the poker site’s international operations were also halted at the end of last month, when the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) suspended their licenses – hitting players throughout Europe.
Additionally, the French gambling agency, ARJEL (Autorité de Régulation des Jeux en Ligne), also suspended Full Tilt’s license within the European nation after players found they were unable to access the website to play for real money.
However, the Full Tilt lawyer added that the investors have “already” met with the AGCC and ARJEL, and the likelihood is they will also arrange a meeting with the DoJ to reach a “settlement”.
While the solicitor – who will soon be meeting a senior representative of the investment group – refused to name the possible investors, he did confirm that “they are not one of our competitors” but members of the financial sector within Europe.
Although it appears they are new to the online gambling sector, the potential deal is right “on track”, according to that same solicitor.
The lawyer also made strenuous efforts to dismiss the various rumours circulating that Full Tilt chief executive officer Ray Bitar had been removed from his position.
He added that they “can completely deny” the reports of Bitar’s dismissal that have been travelling around the Internet over the past few days.
Meanwhile, Full Tilt representatives remain in discussion with the AGCC, although the British Channel Island’s ecommerce development director Robin le Prevost rejected the authenticity of reports that suggest the website’s licence – which has been suspended ahead of a July 26 hearing in London – could be reinstated today as complete “tosh”.
Elsewhere, PokerStars – who have paid back in excess of $120 million to their American customers after their accounts were initially frozen by the DoJ – have announced that former Disney and Microsoft executive Eric Hollreiser will be their new head of corporate communications.
The former journalist is to head the poker website’s integrated communications, meaning he will be responsible for the “execution of corporate communications, internal communications, public relations and corporate social responsibility, including across social media and talent communications”.
PokerStars bosses have recently moved to position the company as a principal player in the interactive entertainment and technology industry, with Hollreiser – who has already been advising the poker site in regards to communications – brought on board to lead them in their aim to “leverage proprietary software, have unrivaled online customer service, produce live events and creative broadcasts to entertain audiences and deliver interactive experiences around the world”.